Aerogels are synthetic, porous, ultralight materials derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. Aerogel’s properties are in a class by themselves with combinations of materials properties that no other material possesses. They are among the world’s lightest solid materials, extremely porous, very low in density, incredibly strong and considered one of the finest insulation materials available. Because aerogels have these incredible characteristics, they are outstanding materials for insulation and building manufacturing, coatings, space missions, vehicles, filters, appliances, and drug delivery systems, etc. Significant efforts are underway by DOE researchers and their collaborators to advance aerogel technology and many new applications that will enhance and impact our daily lives are imminent.
Dr. William Watson, Physicist, of OSTI’s staff provides a layman’s overview of today’s aerogel research and production techniques and potential common and special uses of the most recent aerogel materials in his latest white paper In the OSTI Collections – Aerogels. He also provides an extensive set of DOE research sources and organizations for reference.
Related Links of Interest
Aerogel Research Results and Information in DOE Databases